A Collective of memoirs by J.S. about Trauma + Mental Health + Abuse + Healing.
I don't think you will receive this message but either way I just need to get it out.
I have been trying for so many years to heal myself because it's all I have.
You and my mother cannot fix the damage you both caused and don't take real responsibility for it. Even though you each did a lot of harm to me, you both see it as I failed or hurt you guys in some way. I am sure it's valid and honest of each of you but it is just incorrect.
I was a kid. A tiny kid. And then. A teenager. Who the fuck knows life at that age.
I've always had to examine life in a mature way and make excuses for people. Even for you.
I blame it on you being sick. Being addicted. Being sad by the loss of your father. Being schizophrenic. Being bipolar. Being fucked up. I blame it on your family. And really at the end of the day, it was you and your choices.
You, whether you could or could not help it mentally just chose wrong.
Chose to not raise me.
I'm so angry. I'm so annoyed. To the core.
Even though day to day I am fine and functioning, it's always some how creeping up how much you guys didn't do for me. And I always thought down on myself for feeling that way. Like I should be accepting and not angry. Or take responsibility for myself and get over it.
Part of me isn't fucking over it.
When it's a friend or a significant other then I one can say hey whatever I'll do better and I'll get over it.
But you gave me life. You chose my mother and then you chose to make me. Have me.
You gave me this kind of life.
And thank God I have given myself the life I have now. But it's no thanks to you.
You were supposed to teach me love. Acceptance. Hope. To dream. To work hard.
You were supposed to teach me how to love and who to love.
Who to date and who to marry.
Fuck. You were supposed to teach me who to trust with my heart. My body. My future.
You should have helped me with my homework. With sports. Dance. Art. Take me to classes.
Be there when I fuck up.
Be there when I have questions.
Be there when I achieve and when I fail.
You were supposed to screen my h.s. boyfriends, not be jealous of them.
You should have taught me how to parent.
I was supposed to be able to call you to babysit.
Call YOU for parenting advice.
But then I remember. I was supposed to be able to see and call your dad. Your mom.
Your parents fucked you up. Your dad for passing away and not being there. And your mom for not being able to hold you together when he did.
You have always been frozen in your own mind since losing him. You for sure were bipolar and had other deficits even as a kid. And then you got into drugs as a teen. You fucked yourself before ever ruining me. So then I feel bad.
I feel guilty for hating you.
I feel guilty for being hurt
I feel guilty for being broken
Because it's only my responsibility in the end to fix me.
Not a husband's job. Not your job.
No one's but mine.
Fuck you for leaving me.
And fuck you for not being your own hero when you had no other
My mother was a psycho. And you knew it since you dated her. But you didn't really do anything about it. Maybe you were scared or maybe you didn't know how
She was supposed to be there for me too.
Love me and teach me. Not taunt me and hurt me.
Not abuse me.
She was supposed to teach me how to love myself
How to be and feel beautiful inside and out
She was supposed to teach me how to be a mom
A girlfriend. A wife.
She should have helped me pick the right man.
The right men.
The right dress for prom.
For my wedding day.
Fuck both of you.
But thanks to me I will figure it out.
Thanks to me.
I have so much more to say but at the same time nothing I say will fix this.
It might Take the rest of my life to heal. But I will do it.
Both parents were abusive, neglectful, and severely mentally impaired because of their sicknesses. My father would end up in and out of my life growing up, until relapsing and and abandoning me at 15. I would see him one last time a year later, while pregnant with my first child at 16. He tried to kill me and told me to disappear out of his life. In the years to come, he would have several complications in his life, including becoming homeless and overdosing multiple times. These were my responses and engagement with him, in raw honesty and despair.
I now write about my accounts with multiple abusers to shed light on what experiences abuse victims go through. I hope that my choice to be transparent will inspire others to speak out about the abuse they have endured, sometimes right within their own home and earliest relationships.
Read more stories here on the blog or submit your own under the WRITE tab. You can also email me at email@example.com
I do not cry when people around me die or lose it when people leave me. For years I was scared of this non-expression and then realized it was disassociation.
I have been a chronic coping robot for so long, with a calm face and exterior, that it has become difficult to have the right reaction or let out my emotions during a safe time ( or while in a safe space).
I have pain in my body and aches that feel unexplainable since I am a young, limber adult with no physical ailments or broken bones/injuries to ever speak of.
I did not realize my body stored all the trauma and pain left from abuse within my back, neck, shoulders, and knees.
I was never taught how the body contains our emotional pains and insecurities, so I grew up thinking something was seriously wrong with me.
Every time I saw a doctor and complained about aches or irritations, I was told my numbers and tests were extremely average and "fine".
For X amount of years, every professional I have ever seen has convinced me that light exercise and a healthy diet will provide me with a healthy lifestyle.
Not one has looked me in the eyes and said, "You dear have stored trauma and need to heal".
How was I ever supposed to know I had problems after leaving my abusers when the only people who saw me all thought I passed as normal?
I have said these things as well as heard them over the years.
I had no idea I had PTSD until last year, at 28 years old, when a professional diagnosed me after examination and a session.
I knew depression was a thing and that anxiety was a way people "behaved".
I "expressed" anxiety characteristics.
I did not label myself as PTSD + DEPRESSION + ANXIETY until someone trained saw it all over me and said to me directly, "I can hear it in your voice."
And it was not a silly little comment.
It blew the lid right off my sealed tight suppression of trauma.
I fell headfirst into pulling apart my problems and had to dig deep into my experiences to figure out where it all started.
IT was not a difficult dig. The hard part was connecting my past to my present.
I had to BECOME aware of my current behaviors and emotions.
In the past, I had thought about my experiences as a child and adolescent. When I had "lived with the abuse".
I thought leaving at 16 meant I had left abuse.
Turns out I received abuse by many people after because I was unaware of the red flags or how susceptible I was to it.
NO ONE TELLS YOU THESE THINGS.
I passed as normal for everybody.
I was outspoken. Confident. Funny. Smiled often. Social.
I put myself out there and took chances as an independent young adult.
NOTHING pointed to me having problems with abuse.
Piled up laundry for days = most adults and almost all college kids, so not weird.
Idiot college boyfriend problems = well, every girl around me in a relationship with a peer seemed to have similar issues so that seemed normal too.
Struggle to keep up with ALL responsibilities = every college kid, everywhere.
Nights of insomnia or days of wanting to sleep mid-day = every college kid everywhere.
I totally PASSED AS FINE.
I did not know until last year because I had never been around a professional that was Trauma trained.
I had talked about my past abuse to other survivors, not on purpose but just in conversating with peers. And not many people could really imagine what it was like, but thought I had "turned out fine".
Others thought it was somewhat normal because they had grown up with abuse too.
But they did not call it abuse. Just "childhood".
These are the reasons now I am thankful for starting a healing journey through holistic and spiritual practices.
I am learning for the first time what trauma LOOKS, SOUNDS, and FEELS like.
Through this newfound awareness, I am building a new relationship with myself and understanding my personality in a whole new way.
It is like I am able to now dissect myself from the trauma.
Separate what is "me" from what is "unhealthy" and then DECIDE who I want to be as I heal.
That feeling of self-transformation is so powerful and I owe it all to education in trauma. But I also owe it to taking matters into my own hands after being diagnosed.
The best thing we can do for ourselves is to SEEK knowledge and then APPLY IT.
J.S. Jaded Savior
All week I have felt weak.
Weak in my body.
Weak in my heart.
Weak in my spirit.
I have revisited horrible memories and experiences, drudged up horrific trauma and talked about things I supressed for over a decade.
It was the least bit relieving...at first.
As the week winds down, I find myself wanting to nap the day away. My focus cannot hold past mindless activities.
And yet, deep within my mind I feel something brewing.
A rumbling in the cavity.
I have been resistant to the gear up.
To leap into the NEW.
All I have ever known was trauma. Dysfunction. Disappointment.
Even though I have been on my own for many years and then finally married and made a family, I have had the haunting feeling that everything will come crashing down.
That I will only discover problems and struggles.
That happiness was a light I was never meant to bask in and headlights were the only thing i chased.
As it turns out, that was my trauma speaking.
A little whisper telling me that everything is going to blow up in my face. So i better hold my breathe to cushion the blow.
I have been holding my breathe for 5 years.
In fact, even longer than that.
Literally and figuratively, I have found it hard to breathe and have just tried to survive the calm.
Calm feels almost scarier than trauma, because it is like the tide going out.
We know it will drown us when it comes back.
And it always does.
I have felt so heavy this week, so I took a step back from my work and blogging to get extra sleep and take care of myself.
It's funny how when you wait for something for so long, the wait almost feels more exciting than the end surprise.
All this time, my symptoms have been "preparing me" for the tide to come back in.
Anxiety has had me splashing my own face with cool water, you know "to get used to the pain ahead of time".
That is what PTSD and anxiety have done to me.
Little splash in the morning after I wake.
A lovely wash up after breakfast.
A mid day wash.
And so on.
Little sprinkles of:
"This is going to be ruined."
"You are NOT cut out for this."
"You have never shown consistency."
"Drama comes to you."
"This was a NICE run."
"It was good while it lasted."
Today I got tired of the bullshit.
That rumbling turned out NOT to be the BOOM I was anticipating.
AFTER YEARS OF WAITING ON MY LIFE AFTER ABUSE TO SOME HOW ONLY, INEVITABLY BE A SERIES OF CHAPTERS IN A PROTAGONISTS TALE.....
I have come to the end of a book.
One I have read for 29 years now, thinking I had predicted the end.
Like all of us, I thought the end would bring some crazy twist or cliff hanger.
But the last pages, I am now realizing end perfectly.
The closure of not a lifetime, but a book.
A single book in an entire series.
This story is NOT about a tragedy.
Not even close.
I was only reading an introduction to a
I thought holding my breathe was a way to brace the inevitable trauma, when all this time it was a way to not breathe in the toxic fumes I survived.
The take away of the first book is that I SURVIVED.
And there was no tide coming back in for me.
I had left that beach all together the day I left trauma behind.
PTSD has a funny way of playing with our surroundings.
Making us think we are somewhere we are not.
Like being on a beach in the chill of winter, at the wrong place in the wrong time. Just waiting for the splash, even though it will never be fun to swim without the sun.
That was not the theme of the book.
And it is not the theme of my life.
It is not the theme of yours either.
For some, it is a page. Others may have chapters.
You may think you have a whole book dedicated to it.
But you are not finished yet.
Something this evening hit me. First in mind and then in heart.
I need to play BIG.
I need to embody a new character and identity for the next book.
The one who is powerful after enduring so much, like the introduction taught you.
What does she do?
Where does she go?
How does she LEAP into amazing things?
One thing she does not do is sit in the sand on a cold winter's evening, crying that the water will soon come back to freeze her toes.
She takes action and becomes someone she wants to be.
She makes sure the ending of the series is
J.S. JADED SAVIOR
I remember being thankful for my abusers.
Far back, the earliest memory I had of this feeling was clutching to my moms faded black scrunchy for her hair that I stole as comfort while I went away for the weekend with my father camping.
It was my first time going camping and sleeping all night in a tent with my father, whom I had visitations with on weekends post divorce as a toddler. It was my first time away from Cathy. She was busy with her fiance, doing what I found out later was getting married in a courthouse without me.
I held onto that scrunchy to smell it and comfort me to sleep. It smelled like her lipstick and perfume. And though I remember not crying that whole weekend, I had cried alot about leaving.
My parents were each a nightmare in their own way. Both mentally ill and untreated, but self medicated with substances and bad relationships. I had no clue growing up what was actually wrong. So most often I thought their odd behavior was just, well, them.
And me. I remember thinking it was me. That was confirmed when I finally told a counselor in middle school that my mother was a drinker.
She asked me, "what do you think makes your mother drink?"
My 11 year old mind, "stress."
Her, "and do you think you stress your mother out."
I FU*KING DO.
Thank you for clearing that one up for me.
I was thankful I had a roof to live under, even though the rent was being taunted and caring for a woman that blacked out and tried to harm everyone on the regular.
I was thankful I had food, though I snuck and binged on sugary treats and cereal for years because my mom barely cooked or went food shopping. And when she did, I was thankful for bologne, yogurt, wheat bread, and 45c packets of flavoring for rice. Chicken rice. Broccoli rice. Overcooked or raw rice.
Anything she provided. Thankful.
Like the unhealthy reminders of my weight, my looks, my unkept hair, and my eyes like my fathers.
Funny thing was, I had her eyes. The one thing I got from her. But she usually did not even notice.
I missed a woman who was right infront of me for 16 years, because I was just thankful to have a mother.
I was so thankful when a boy I really liked finally felt the same. And began to date me, in spite of what anyone else thought about me. I was not weird alone anymore. We were weird together. Marching to his own beat was so attractive to me. So I marched his too.
I was just so thankful to finally find a rhythm and call it love.
But that name did not apply to the way he treated me. What he expected of me. What he did behind my back. And what he did when I was no longer of use.
When things got too real.
It was me.
I got too real.
Real life happened and I became pregnant.
And I was convinced we would have a plan.
I was thankful to have him until I chose commitment and he chose to run.
I remember keeping his jersey after it was over.
Crying to sleep wearing it, belly poking out underneath with my hand cupped under my waistline to feel the kicks.
I wish I could have been thankful then that I had escaped and survived it. Him. Them.
I was a "daddy's girl" like most daughters are and I remember a time when I really enjoyed seeing Charlie. That stopped around age 8. Once the new marriage took place with my mother, he got weird.
His bond with me was like I was a pawn in his chess game. He had no idea how to play chess. We lost a lot.
I kept feeling excitement and so thankful to have what Charlie gave me.
Freedom to walk around with friends for hours.
Freedom to take the bus with change from the jar and show up in the city with girl peers to go meet guys. A secret for them but an open truth for me. One I had no clue was even a risk.
After all, I was thankful I could be independent.
Charlie supported it.
I was thankful I got out of the abuse from my parents and into a home with my Aunt and Uncle. That I could have 4 years to go from minor to young adult and go through Community College.
I then applied for a four year school and campus housing. I picked a major. A second major. A minor. A second minor. An internship. A job. I even applied for an RA position, though i was so thankful in the end that one thing did not pan out.
I was SUPER BUSY. Always smiling. Always creating in my spare nights and weekends.
I did not know it then but art and writing were my coping skills for my extreme anxiety and PTSD. Every one would say "wow, after all you say you have been through ---> you turned out so level headed."
I felt thankful I had it all together.
Disassociation left me filling a never ending itinerary. Passion was fueled by the void.
I was thankful for the void because it allowed me to paint and draw. To let out my raw emotions.
I was thankful when I met a guy during college who wanted to take it sllloooowwwww. He wanted to be my friend. Then take me on dates. Then start to date. Eventually met my child. And would walk me to my classes. Show up at my events.
I was thankful.
Thankful he wanted to kiss me and hold me in his arms. Thankful he looked down when he talked and was quiet.
Not arrogant or aggressive or loud.
If he had a rhythm, it would be a quiet whisper. Like the wind.
Four years, between two schools---> I was so thankful.
For the church I found through him. For the people i met and the independence I fostered.
The apartment I got on my own and the life I was building at my College.
I was thankful. I was becoming a woman. A strong and independent woman.
A strong single mother.
All 4 years I was known as the strong single mother.
Even though i had a boyfriend.
Because just like the wind, he was always coming and going. As he pleased.
And when he did a no show for a while and then said he was confused, I was thankful.
I was smart, driven, passionate. Succeeding.
I was the PERFECT PARTNER to be with for someone who was not sure what to do with their life.
I would help him. Guide him.
I would capture the wind and direct it.
I was thankful in the end, even though it really hurt.
Thankful that he ghosted and then finally said it was over.
Because it was really hard being known as a loner and ACTUALLY being alone around the person I had thought I loved.
In the last 5 years, I have met a partner who has matched me in so many ways and yet been my exact opposite in mindset and experiences.
An entrepreneur. Independent. Strong. But not over powering. Not a wind.
He was my thunder.
The thunder that came crashing and bursting into my life. And the one who when the storms come in my life would just hold my hand in it and watch through the window.
I have had to learn how to be thankful.
Thankful for the abuse and past I endured.
Thankful for the hyper-vigilance and fears. The diagnosis of PTSD.
The validation of finally knowing what my problems are and where they stem from.
I am thankful for my art and writing because after coping came facing all the problems.
So I re purposed my creativity into a way to tell the stories.
The words that make me who I am.
Strong and resilient.
A challenge taker.
I have found a way to be thankful for the conditions, because I have learned a better way of living through having to manage them.
My anxiety has actually given me a great need to simplify my life. To flow. To show patience. And to set boundaries. It not only manages my anxiety but I am able to navigate life in a way that brings me joy instead of misery.
My depression, though it felt like a storm, made me have to be alone.
Isolated from everything mentally and sometimes physically. Only then was I able to be alone with myself.
To face me.
And be thankful.
To find my own rhythm.
PTSD has made me realize that I am a time traveler.
I get to travel, when I harness it, all over my life. I get to relive the past. And yes, it was scary at first. But then I realized that going back and taking control in the flashbacks is possible.
Because they are not real.
I have released the fear of being like my parents. I do not have schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. But I can actively put myself into a memory or flash now.
And as I work on it, I visualize.
I am so thankful I am a writer.
I always have been.
And now I get to redefine these emotions.
My own identity.
And my future.
I want to always remember to be thankful.
Because the journey has felt like 4 lifetimes.
All the moves.
The different caretakers.
The different obstacles.
Now I get to write number 5 exactly how I want it to be.
It sounds funny but I love to smell my kids scent as they fall asleep.
This little family I have made.
A familiar scent that I can pour all my love into.
All the ways I want to be as a woman, wife, and mother all stem from them.
As I re-parent and parent.
And every night, as I kiss their little faces good night.
I am just so thankful.
J.S. Jaded Savior
Today I am a ball of emotions.
I had nightmares again and was JOLTED awake after watching one of my kids get hurt by someone in that dream. One if my worst reoccurring dreams.
I rose out of bed to discover I had full body pain and a ringing headache. It was time to get my kids up and ready, to make breakfast and plan for the day. And I just didn't want to do anything.
After everything was taken care of, I decided to take care of myself. In ways I always resisted before.
My in laws took my boys for a little bit and I took a nap. When I woke, I got breakfast and coffee. I took my vitamins. I did some breathing exercises and spoke to myself.
I let myself know it is ok to take a ME day.
No day is a ME day as a stay at home mother of 3, with a husband working in a different part of the state for weeks and mostly just sitting in two small bedrooms each day for entertainment.
Today is a mental health + me day because I am going to talk to myself all day.
I realize some of you might laugh because you are a stay at home mom and talk to yourself all day. Ain't that special right?
For years I talked to myself, through the lens of someone with deep anxiety and depression. And it sounded something like this:
"Don't take another 2 hours to wash the bathroom up when you know it can take 30 minutes."
"Gosh, these kids never listen to me no matter what I ask for or say."
"Again you didn't do your hair. What's it going to take to brush it?"
"The Jean's dont fit again. Might as well wear sweats. Not like I ever go anywhere."
"Stop spending or even looking at money. There is so little of it, you cannot afford to be in charge of it. You don't even work."
"You don't even work. Anything you would do would just pay a daycare and then you will have no time with your kids plus no money. You can't even earn past minimum wage. You have no resume."
"You have no resume. What happened to your dreams? You did nothing."
"You do nothing. Motherhood is not even difficult. It's just a job with no lunch break. Other women do it so well."
"You are not like other women. You have no idea how to be a woman or a wife. Idk why he picked you. You can barely care for yourself."
"I don't want to take care of myself. Not today. Not tomorrow either."
"I just want to be in bed."
"I hate everything."
---------- Ladies. This is not self talk. --------------
This is self sabotage. And I cry as I write this because it needs to come out. I need to tell myself all day today that I am not unworthy.
That I am worthy of love.
That I need to love myself so much. Make up for years of not loving me every time I had a conversation with myself.
Today I am doing things for my blog, as I do every day to be committed. But I am intuitively doing what makes me feel good.
I am also putting together the ways I can use my blog and talents to bring what I want into existence.
I have never done this before.
Take the wheel and say, "Do what makes you happy. Fuel your joy."
I am working on ways to build a new life.
To finally get an apartment or place of our own as a little family of 5 instead of living out of a bedroom, which we cannot even afford right now.
I am rewriting my pain and trauma from the past but also my recent struggles in marriage and parenthood. In entrepreneurship.
I have been learning something so fundamental to this healing and growth.
To stop talking down on myself and treating my intuition like it is an addiction.
I just realized this morning during breakfast with myself that I always treated myself like an addict when I wanted something.
This stems from being raised by mentally ill parents with addictions. It's all I ever saw or knew. Combine that with my needs never being met, my emotions being dismissed and a verbal diagnosis from my parents to me that I was just the worst kid ever.
The worst teen ever.
The worst thing in their lives.
I internalize my own needs as dangerous and destructive because of that good ole "dog and bell" concept you may have been taught in basic psychology.
Jean wants. Jean is bad.
Jean does without. Drought is safe.
I have been in poverty all my life.
I have also had a burning passion for creating and organizing socially impacting projects and movements. I have radical, creative energy inside of me that zings around like a bright orb wanting to release its magic.
And my self doubt used duct tape to patch all the attempts that light made to get out.
Because of abuse and the aftermath of trauma.
I want things because I am human. We all want things.
But my desire to have a home and a healthy family with my husband + kids goes roots deep.
After 28 years of not knowing how to deal with my trauma, year 29 my intuition says "rebuild."
So I am.
I am now following my intuition while I talk myself through it. This sounds like:
"You are so creative. Look what magic you make and how much it is appreciated by others?!"
"You know how to create magic! You always have. Look how beautiful you write and design when you let yourself flow."
"Wanting to be loved by others or enjoying the appreciation others have for you does not make you selfish or conceited. Wanting people to like you to people please v.s. enjoying people liking you for YOU are SO DIFFERENT."
"YOU CAN HAVE ALL THE THINGS YOU WANT."
"USE YOUR CREATIVE ENERGY TO GET WHAT YOU WANT."
"Live like you can get that new life NOW."
I am talking to myself every hour. All day long today. Because I need me. I need to build trust in myself and know my intuition + emotions are the priority. They are a skill and a gift to be able to access.
Listening to your intuition if it says something that you are unsure of or new to does not mean you are self sabotaging your life.
Listening when your intuition says "buy that coffee" and your logic tells you "yeah girl, we totally can" means your body and mind are in sync and you are choosing to do a logical thing out of self love.
I struggled so long with the idea that our logic is the opposite of intuition, because society programs us that way.
Women are told they are too emotional and too needy, that they indulge too much.
We are taught this through abuse as well.
So I am refusing it.
Instead I have asked myself, "What can I do today to fulfill my future needs NOW?"
So I googled. "Housewarming registry."
I am making a registry of all the things I need for the apartment or house we rent for our little family.
I am also compiling a list of my abilities in design and writing, editing, and organizing that people may need from me.
I am going to be offering different skills of mine and in exchange, friends can donate to my blog or choose an item off my registry.
But that is for another day.
Right now I am asking myself, "What do I want my life to be like --- look like ---- smell like?"
"What locations would bring me joy? My family joy?"
"When I walk into my dream place, what do I see?"
----> growing up, I moved many times and never felt at home anywhere. I felt really unsafe living with my mother because of the abuse and what I had to witness.
So all I could come up with is "safe".
I want to live in a safe home.
"Dig harder. Dig deeper. You are safe now. What do you want to make you feel happy?"
And so I sit.
I am building this registry today.
I am sipping a hot beverage.
I am counting my blessings out loud as I listen to a meditation music playlist.
I am calming myself from the inside out.
And I am speaking out foreign words of love and devotion to me.
"I am so worthy of happiness."
"I am so loved by me."
"I deserve joy and excitement."
"My creativity is going to break the cycle."
"My ideas bring healing and comfort to my life."
"My intuition and logic can bring me joy."
"I can trust in myself when my choices are aligned with healthy decisions."
"Being happy IS the goal, not the side effect."
♡ J.S. Jaded Savior
You can help support us by contributing to the registry <3 or donating to the blog.
I have a confession.
I HATE the word queen.
I have never had a good relationship with my parents.
My mother was hardly ever sober and she was my residential parent after the divorce.
Sometimes, between blackouts and rage, would come out a fragile voice and tenderness that scared me more than the anger I knew her for.
When someone is constantly abusive, tenderness or kindness feels wrong. Unnatural.
She would call me Queen. And talk about how how I was her Queen.
And I grew up hating it. That fake kindness that would come out to play. It almost felt supernatural when that persona met with me.
And that word, it felt foreign.
What did it even mean to her?
Surely there was not a "human" part of her soul hiding beneath the illness, the anger, the alcohol.....
I grew up around girls who had moms that were their best friends.
Mine tried attacking me while drunk on the regular. Mine did not talk to me about life or boys or behaviors or habits. Mine did not warn me about the bad people.
People like her.
Unstable. But calculated.
She was not abusive or bullying towards me out of lack of willpower.
She knew what she was causing, she would see it in my eyes and my body language.
She would gas light and manipulate.
Guilt me. Gift me things I didn't want or need, that she charged and we could not afford. Then lay all the stress and problems on me.
Many episodes of alcohol and anger went forgotten because she maintained a buzz constantly and then would get so drunk I saw a void in her eyes.
This was my home life for years. 16.
Until I became pregnant with my h.s. bf and she kicked me out. Threw me out with nothing. And then changed the locks.
The only texts and calls I got thereafter have been incoherent or angry or illegible.
I'll never forget when she texted me 5 years later telling me she had a baby cradle and baby items in my bedroom. My childhood bedroom that she was still "cleaning" every season and keeping as is for me to return home.
With "baby queen".
The child she told me to abort.
The pregnancy she shamed me and abandoned me with, not minding that a family member on my birth fathers side had to take me in.
I never did return.
Or so I told myself.
For 12 years I disassociated with a memory that I unblocked this summer.
After I began my healing journey in May of this year, I began to practice shadow work and sit with myself to unlock deep seeded issues that were giving me nightmares.
Every dream was the same.
I was an adult, with my daughter being a toddler again, and I was TRAPPED in my childhood bedroom. Trying to figure out how to escape and get my baby girl who she had locked somewhere else in the house.
Nightmares of my mother trying to kill me slowly with torture and mental games.
Nightmares of trying to run and getting out the front door with such elation, only to turn back GREEN faced realizing my toddler was still prisoner inside and I could no longer see a front door.
So I dove into my memories right on my couch. And I journeyed through memories, going back to after the birth of my daughter.
I then remembered a day I went to visit with the baby. And ended up being coehersed into sleeping over with my month old child.
I remembered drunk fist fighting at 1 am.
I remembered bugs in my bed and dust on the furniture.
I remembered breastfeeding my newborn and crying on the floor. Sleeping with her in my arms on hard wood.
I remembered calling my aunt [who'd taken me in] the next day to come get me.
I remembered stealing my social security card and other documents from her bedroom closet in secret while my aunt distracted her in the living room.
These were vital documents so I could as a minor apply for financial aid, a bank account, school, medical insurance, and have proper I.D. for my new life without parents. And I achieved it.
I blocked out that memory of sleeping over, of my child crying hard when she held her, of the sleepless night when I heard China breaking and cursing until after 3am.
But the worst pain was the mistake I had made right before leaving those doors for good.
I had left baby clothing behind that had spit up on it.
8 months later my mother had that clothing in a bag and photographs of it sprawled out in my room along with other baby things I'd never seen before.
I had brought her and my birth father, who'd abandoned me at 15 to drugs, to court. At 17 years old with a 9 month old baby, I testified against all 3 guardians: my mother, her husband, and my father.
And though Ieft with freedom legally from them all, I had a heavy heart. No abuse charges were founded. No proof on my end was substantial enough to hold the case.
On their end my mother presented photographs of my room all clean and a full fridge of food [which was never the case], baby items in various places of the room and fresh laundry folded.
The pictures were dated and used as valid evidence to prove they supplied a loving, safe home that I was welcome back to with my child any time I wanted.
I declined and thankfully, lawfully was not able to be forced.
THIS IS NOT THE CASE IN EVERY STATE.
I realized I had blocked those memories because of how painful and shameful it was to have my own parent put me in such a bad position, this time affecting my own child.
And i rejected the memory of putting my own baby in danger because I was so upset about it.
Our brains are that powerful. We can rewrite, rewire or erase memories all together just to protect ourselves.
Until we unlock the memories and suddenly connections are made.
And Pandora's box is unleashed.
I remembered that my boyfriend during college called me his Queen during a vulnerable moment he had, promising to propose and get an apartment with me. Something I had wanted to have because we were dating for years and I had a child already + a future to plan out.
One that would not wait for him.
So he pulled out what cards he could to keep me.
For another year and a half I believe I stayed, until he left me finally via text announcing his affair with someone else.
I realized that QUEEN again meant prisoner.
It did not mean royal or special or strong.
And it was bestowed upon me by a person close to me who had no intention of keeping me.
Instead, I was cut loose and ghosted thereafter.
4 years just gone.
We are not supposed to view experiences as wasted or unwanted.
We learn best through struggles and overcoming challenges.
Overcoming abuse is not a life obstacle.
It is a deterrent from living life.
It is a prison cell.
A nightmare in which you feel trapped over and over again.
Even long after you are safe.
Starting Jaded Savior blog taught me so much about myself.
My spiritual healing journey has taught me, through light and shadow work, that my duality of good and bad qualities come from abuse.
That I am inauthentic.
Or rather, void of identity and self esteem.
How could this have happened?
When women call eachother queen on the internet, it is the absolute best compliment.
It is a symbol of sisterhood and support.
When I am called queen, I shrivel.
It does not empower me.
But that trigger comes from abusers programming me to lose my identity.
To create one for me.
As it turns out, I have not known myself.
The traits I thought were me were symptoms of anxiety and depression.
The good news is, I AM NOT MY ANXIETY OR DEPRESSION.
I AM NOT TRAUMA.
I am also not lost or lacking of identity.
Beneath the layers of experiences is who I AM TO BECOME.
I once was a JADED SAVIOR.
Someone chronically wanting to save everybody but myself.
It wasn't until I left abuse through awareness and action that I was able to become something new.
Not a Queen.
Not a Savior of the Narcissists and Sociopaths.
A path forger.
A dark sorter.
A light bringer.
J.S. Jaded Savior
art by lindsayrappgallery.com
Some days I look in the mirror and as soon as I am about to say:
"I am a good person with a good heart"
, my mind imposter swoops in and says things like:
"No you're not. You manipulate. You pretend to be happy. You pretend to be good. You are the problem."
Growing up and living with my mother after the divorce, I was told almost daily how bad I was.
I "deserved" and I "earned" whatever I got.
I got sent to my room or punished for anything.
One time I could not find a dog spoon so I was grounded for 3 months to my room. Right before summer break. I watched everyone else run around outside on the block playing. I was 11. And my mother hid the spoon.
Growing up with a narcissist who had mental health issues and addictions made me think I was crazy for "imagining" abuse.
It took me years after moving out to justify it.
I remember as an adult with 2 kids, having her text me after years acting "calm and normal". She spelled correctly and she was asking me coherent questions like an old "friend" catching up. She even sent a picture to me of "us" from her "wallet" which was an awkward AF pic of me all skinny and pale, with the worst expression on my face.
The face of an abused kid. A broken kid.
And I remembered there how she would manipulate, taunt, and shove her fingers into my wounds.
She would yell to get me crying and then tell me all I do is cry. That babies cry.
I now know at 29 that, yes, it was abuse. Yes, she was and IS an addict. Actively still.
She was and IS mentally ill without medication or intervention.
She was and IS not in my life for those reasons.
I made it my boundary this past May to block her out of my life for good. 12 years post moving out. Which I still phrase it as such even though I was thrown out and she changed the locks within that week. I was 16 and pregnant. And "ruining her life".
It was ALWAYS my fault.
Projection. Gas lighting. Manipulation. Black outs. The rollercoaster of being in a relationship that is volatile and unstable for anyone, but especially a child.
I have had to reparent myself and educate my inner child as well as the adult I now am.
The adult body I feel trapped in when I stare into the mirror.
I cannot believe I am a good person.
Not because i think i am actually a liar.
But because her voice became louder than my own.
Her voice was built on irrationality, addictions, unhealthy expectations, violated boundaries, and chemical altering of each mood she slid smoothly into like a greased up mouse.
I have to teach myself the difference.
I do have rational thoughts.
I am powerful AF.
I have survived by making phone calls, doing research, making plans, executing them, creating solutions from nothing.
I have always grown on my own account. In my own way.
Every hardship ever has been tackled.
I have a strong spirit and I KNOW IT.
So did she.
I have realized over the years that I am hard to contain.
I have BIG ENERGY.
I love to play big when not held back.
But I've let abusive people sneak in and hold me back. "Because they needed me."
And every need, whether fulfilled or not, was ridiculed.
But that was all I knew about "love".
How to please and be hurt in return.
Now I have tools to accompany my strength.
And metaphorical scissors.
I am now a woman unbound.
No more being held back.
And self doubt also holds me back.
Irrational fears bind me from being more.
I will no longer entertain the notion that I am not good.
My truths are being told because so many of you have a voice inside telling you the bullshit that keeps you bound up by trauma.
Cut it loose now.
It is time.
Because now you have the ability to know better.
J.S. Jaded Savior
#christmas #joy #purpose #rockbottom #depression #trauma #stars
Last New Years + Christmas was the absolute worst. My husband and I both felt so burnt out by life. We both said in unison "this does not feel like Christmas" and did not have a good holiday week at all.
We had just completely lost so much we had built during the 4 years of working together and were home for a few weeks scrambling before Xmas to get our kids a few things. We had no income that month coming in. We were super tight food shopping and in debt from our business. We had nothing to do but sit in our two tiny, side by side bedrooms we live in with our kids and DWELL on all we felt we had "fucked up".
Throughout our entire relationship, from the first few months until then, we had spent working together long hours in his family-owned business. He had chosen a partner with a child so we felt like a family instantly and then doubled in size by our first holiday. I was pregnant 4 months into dating him and gave birth just 2 weeks before Christmas in 2015.
The next two years after that we spent working constantly, as a family of 4 and then 5 when our second son joined the gang.
We got married quickly while pregnant with the second (while feeling in love but very overwhelmed by the lackluster celebration and fast milestones). Everything with us, though we wanted a family and to settle down so badly, felt rushed.
But we made everything work. Year after year we made big plans and did whatever we could to work them out. Both pregnancies, I went to work full time until I was due and then returned with an infant two or three weeks tops back to our office and factory.
By the end of year four, it felt like the roller coaster had finally made its' last, tallest DROP which drove us straight into the tracks.
Last New Years Eve I made a wish.
I wished, through tear-soaked eyes, to never have another holiday feeling the way I did.
I felt so broken and weak. So tired.
I felt like a failure.
6 years I had gone to college and then my plans did not pan out. 4 years I spent with a man I loved dearly, the only person to ever make me feel safe and loved ---> only to feel like I failed him and our vision of happiness.
I had pictured getting married and having babies to be these amazingly planned out events in my life. Void of parents to plan, support, or be there in love through those milestones ---> I OBSESSED over being able to do things "the right way" in order to have SOME control in my life.
In order to not feel like I am just meant for TRAUMA.
One year ago, I felt like such an utter disappointment.
Even though I had 3 healthy and beautiful children to be thankful for ---
Even though I had a loving and supportive husband by my side ---
Even though we had a roof over our heads thanks to his family---
I felt like nothing was enough or the way I had planned it.
The business was supposed to BOOM. We were supposed to BUILD a life. GET an apartment. or rent a HOUSE.
We were supposed to get a dog before babies. I was supposed to make a CAREER happen before multiplying my definition of MOTHERHOOD.
I never held out on the idea of a MAN swooping in to provide all. My girl had been raised to be happy in a one-parent home. To be happy and whole regardless of the size of our family.
But I did end up meeting a man while I was an independent and hard-working College Student.
So when I left school as my term was up, I did not FEEL like I was saved by a KNIGHT.
I actually carried around GUILT and SHAME for hanging up my single mom cape.
For getting pregnant fast. Even falling in love after previous people had just disappointed me.
Last year I cried because I had held onto years of guilt, shame, frustration, fears, and sadness.
I felt like I had let myself down.
But I was wrong.
All I was doing was releasing year's worth of Trauma, disassociation, and anxiety. Because sitting home with my husband last Christmas, though we had just lost everything, it was the calmest my life had ever been.
We had nowhere to "be"' anymore.
We had no clients to meet, no store to open, no people to call.
We had no appointments to drag our babies along to. No networking or events.
We could sleep in if we wanted to.
We could just relax if we wanted to. Not forever. But just for the holidays, before regrouping and figuring out our game plan for the New Year.
We could have used Christmas to just stay silently in the void, the quiet of snowfall and holiday vacation ---when the streets were deserted and the emails were scarce.
Instead, we cursed the days.
We said "I hate everything."
We said "This is the worst thing ever."
And so when the New Year came, I felt like I had to do something to FEEL relevant.
I started a mom blog to write about my experience as a stay at home mom.
Recipes. Toy recommendations. Cleaning without toxins.
And I EFFEN HATED IT.
That was the actual lowest point in our relationship, my parenting journey, and my time as a stay at home 28-year-old --- hiding away in our tiny little bedroom not even wanting to see the family we stay with.
I felt so worthless.
I could barely get myself to write content, and just obsessed with the graphic design + theme of my self hosted website for 4 months.
Self-loathing was gold and monochrome, with brush script font.
Because it was popular.
Because "likes" and "SEO". Because Aesthetic.
I can laugh now, but back then my days of designing were a sign.
I was spiraling.
As a child, I had used art + design for coping when my mom was super drunk and abusive. I hid in my room to draw and escape from the screaming + fighting that took place nightly in my home.
When I dove into art, it was a distraction from pain.
I wish now I had the power to visit my past selves, like the ghost of Christmas past.
To see the old me's and tell them the ways to get off their knees and wipe their tears.
I wish I could trauma train myself as a child to KNOW exactly why I did the things that I did. And rescue myself from all the pain.
It was not until I hit true Rock Bottom that I was able to SEE what I was doing.
What I was really feeling.
I hit a deep depression in May that made getting out of bed difficult. I was crying daily in the bathroom and my kids making any noise went through my head and right down my spine.
I finally decided to talk to my husband and explode all my thoughts + emotions.
All the pent up worries and pain.
My feelings of defeat and my struggle to feel OKAY each day.
I told him I felt guilty about having my blog because it was not what I really wanted.
I did not cook very well, I had no wisdom to impart on my readers about parenthood when my own kids made me cry, and I felt like a horrible wife.
I was having nightmares and insomnia back and forth which caused me to struggle during the day between exhaustion and body aches.
Christmas had sucked but my wish not coming true broke my heart.
I was getting worse, not better.
That month felt really hard. But being honest with him relieved me.
After releasing those emotions, 2 more events happened back to back that I was not prepared for. I cut out my birth parents from any form of contact after being randomly approached by each sending messages. And then a long-time friend did something that made me decide to cut off contact. I realized my boundaries with both situations and I HONORED THEM.
I sat with my feelings and realized that the release was exactly what I needed.
Release of expectations and guilt.
Release of shame and depreciation for the way my life went.
I also decided to stop viewing my struggles as an anchor that was sinking me.
I had the ability to be home with my kids for the first time ever. A supportive husband who was working on something new to help us get back up on our feet.
I was already blogging and had gained so many skills. I had already taken courses and learned how to build websites from our business plus had already invested in a site.
I made a conscious and split-second decision to get up off my @SS and change my life.
It took 2 days after that to build the entire site and write my first few published posts. I released something NEW on my social media feed. Jaded Savior <3
And it was all purple. All me. All "purposeful". Yet...
Unplanned. Unstrategized. Unexpectedly.
My life changed.
Within one month, I had visions of writing a book.
within 3 months I was planning a Podcast.
At the end of 6 months, I planned out a subscription plan for my site.
Just days away, Christmas 2019 is going to be a holiday for the books.
We did not know what the year would bring and were so focused on all that we lost ---- I am most excited to celebrate what we have now gained.
We have each found a career path that we really enjoy and are now following it -- all in.
Though we have to work apart, the distance is allowing us to each work on ourselves and our own health.
I am getting a grip on my mental health and showing gratitude for the amazing opportunities I have had in the last few months.
I would have never had them if I did not take a chance on myself.
It was not until I hit rock bottom that I had the opportunity to Rise.
My wish is different this year.
I now wish to keep focused on my personal growth.
I plan on taking on 365 days of sharing truths + tackling my healing by diving deep into who I am and what I am about.
I no longer want to feel paralyzed and heavy by what I have lost.
This year will be all about dropping the need to play connect the dots.
Having Trauma feels a lot like being in bed with chickenpox.
You FEEL IT all over (I mean everywhere) and you have this urge to take a sharpie and connect the dots.
You draw a line from one dot to another, to another...and soon your body looks like a sky of constellations, lighting up all the pain spots.
I am done with marking myself and feeling nothing but disappointment instead of being in awe of the art.
Of the number of times I have survived and then turned something ugly into something worth looking at.
Not just looking at ---> being absolutely crazy about.
That is how I feel now.
12 months later and I have found my "thing".
I also filled a jar this entire year with little notes marking the highlights that happened. <3 And the moments I felt grateful for.
I cannot wait to sit with my kids and husband in front of our tree on Christmas Day and read the notes out loud.
I am reclaiming my emotions and feelings about myself. "I love everything". I love the abundance that is coming into my life.
The amount of love and support I have now that I exist in my truths and my struggles.
The amount of help I am getting now that I have revealed my needs.
I did not realize this "too late" but right when I needed to.
But I want that to be different for you.
I hope you will hear this sooner, from me.
That you need to sit with yourself --- here in your rock bottom.
And you need to PAUSE to stop your doubts and guilt. I want you to listen not to your head or your emotions, but your heart.
Where does your heart gravitate towards?
What is that THING you do want in your life? That passion or idea that you can faintly hear beneath the cluster of F*cks you feel life has tossed on top of you.
Make today that "pick yourself up and try again" day but this time with something you find yourself in awe of.
Like a constellation of magic and light that calls on us to be MORE.
<3 J.S. Jaded Savior
#selfproclamations #abuse #trauma #healing #childabuse #attack #PTSD
Curled up on the couch, a soft fur blanket drapped around my body, fingers laced with my husbands' --- feels like home.
We are watching a Netflix original, trying to keep our eyes open past 1am to enjoy our greatest version of a date. Alone time after the three kids go to sleep.
Hearts calm and bodies relaxed, enjoying the lack of awareness of day or time. It is winter and no responsibilities are calling our names here in the night.
He kisses my cheek and I smile, feeling warm and content as he admires the outline of my silhouette and runs his finger down my nose.
There is an intimacy between us that can forever be unmatched. A safety in his touch and the presence of the space he takes up next to me, legs intertwined and feet touching.
A feeling builds up in my chest, a quick pick up of breathing and lack of exhales causing me to raise my left hand to my chest, bare beneath the neckline of my shirt collar.
My ears are picking up something from the depth beyond the shut wooden door that keeps us time blocked in date night.
A thump. A creek.
And a sudden shriek of the door POPPING loose and dragging open in the dark.
Just as my body sensed its movement, my nerves LEAP with intensified fear.
Neck whipping, I turn to my husband and ask him to check if a child is out of bed or if something pushed the latch open.
It is silly, but I am frightened.
He gets up in serious fashion to explore what is most likely a toddler awaiting retrieval from the baby gated bedroom across from ours.
Instead, he meets gaze with a dark, empty hall and turns to me to smile gently for reassurance that everything is ok.
I am up behind him already. He shuts the door and tells me that it was nothing.
As his body passed mine to return to the couch, I turn back away from the door and it POPS open again.
This time, my shaking hand meeting the backside and shoving it shut. I am pale and I can feel the goosebumps rising over my back underneath my silky top.
Heart pounding and tears welling up along with the thump, thump, pause.
Thump, THUMP, PAUSE ---
I am met, chest to chest wit an understanding hug as he holds me. As he repeats,
"YOU'RE OK. YOU'RE OK."
Hand caressing my back.
--- Unmatched intimacy.
PTSD sometimes looks like knowing 5 seconds before it happens.
It's feeling the air change. Or an expression alter.
It's seeing something there that no one else sees because it happened, just a long time ago.
For me, PTSD looks like petite hands pressing a wooden door shut at 2am and making bruises on a strong, thin calf of someone prying the door open in order to reach me.
2am, hair grasped in fist and screams, inaudible, felt in vibrations down my spine. Goosebumps and chills.
Fear she will get in.
Fear of what happens if I am not strong enough to shut the door.
A final slam and standing fast on feet to hold the door shut from inside. Desperately looking around for something to hold it shut, absent of a lock on the cheap brass handle of the eggshell white portal I desperately beg to cease moving.
So I tug heavily at the vintage dresser and get the corner to pass the door. I keep pushing and manage to shove a heavy, 9 drawer natural wood IKEA vanity across the right corner of the room.
I melt down in front of it and press my body to the drawers. Knobs resting my head and spine between them.
PTSD is not remembering how many hours i slept on that hardwood floor that night or what got me into school the next morning.
Just knowing I reached an adult I trusted instead of taking my midterm, to shakily pass words I had been waiting to utter for years.
My PTSD shows up during normal hours.
It does not pencil in meetings with me or request a call.
It just comes, unannounced. Like a walk-in for an important meeting.
A meeting of timelines. A recollection of truths.
As I grow older, gaining understanding of what is happening and learning how to say PTSD in line with my name... I realize the foreign sound of this term only means I have not presently associated with my past.
February 2019 was my first real diagnosis with this term.
It was not until summer that the pronunciation felt right.
Past reminders in current situations.
Pre processing of past events.
So what does healing look like for someone with PTSD?
For me, it is the meeting between past and present in order to map out a healthy future.
It means using my senses and my present awareness to assist in honoring boundaries to make the flashes subside and the title "healing" feel attainable.
It means I will have the whole body experience of hitting "play" on my life.
J.S. Jaded Savior ♡
An excerpt from "STUCK ON PAUSE", an autobiography about living with PTSD, depression, anxiety, trauma, abuse etc. Coming in 2020 ☆
2012 wore a face like hell.
A face of a girl whose boyfriend had secret texts from his exs.
A face of a girl who cried between classes, alone in a cafeteria in college.
A face of a girl who mourned a loss she could not tell anyone about that ached her heart and soul.
A face of a girl who felt lost in her purpose + mission in life.
She was struck with depression often but did not know its name yet. So she just thought she had shitty outlooks on life.
This girl was riding on the aftermath of abuse and picking out people in her life that presented the treatment she had grown up with, but she called it all love.
She did not know what love actually looked like or sounded like.
Especially when all she heard constantly were the utterances from chronically negative people who thought future planning was pointless because the world was full of disappointments and did not provide joy without a cost.
A cost not worth paying.
This girl did not think her peaks of happiness and creativity were an answer to any questions she was begging between panic attacks as she planned her next schedule and semester.
She did not know creativity was worth something.
That people would pay in appreciation and validation, much less money to hear her thoughts.
She did not know that calling out an abuser or setting a boundary was a normal behavior.
Boundaries were just complaints told on deaf ears. And only b*tches complained.
I wish I could have met this girl in 2012.
I wish I could have told her that her spirit was actually empowerment and that her urge to read inspiring books would lead to a complete breakdown and reassessment of the things she had ever known.
That everything she knew was toxic and her intuitive urges to check those texts came from being around the wrong people, not being the wrong person.
I really want to tell her that she was worthy.
She was worthy of being someone's first choice.
She was worthy of that internship she self sabotaged.
She was worthy of the twirls and spins she did in dance class, wearing converse in a sea of heels because she could not afford dance shoes.
She was worthy of feeling like a good, no a great mom. Because at 21 she was holding keys to her own place and paying all her bills.
At 21, while peers complained about their moms calling too often and the toilet paper being crappy at their jobs, this girl was hustling to feed a toddler and taking public bus 6 times a day total to get the little one to and from daycare in between classes and work.
This girl had a home she attained on her own and a job she found on her first day of College.
This girl was ACTUALLY a go getter who just had anxiety and PTSD.
So the tears and overwhelm were totally acceptable.
The broken friendships and the takers who she surrounded herself with sometimes were ALSO products of abuse.
Because she attracted people who also dealt with hardships in life.
And that was not a burden AT ALL.
It was actually the start of her future career. An inkling that Social Work and Social Justice might actually be good fits.
Or at least her placement between healing and empowerment would be set, with the title "Jaded Savior" on the header of her future plans.
J.S. JADED SAVIOR
Content mention of Rape, Abuse, Neglect, Addictions, Mental Illness, Kidnap, Molestation, Child abuse, Teen Pregnancy, Abortion, birth, body image, gender/identity dysphoria, sexuality, personal trauma, domestic violence and other extremely personal stories. Please practice caution. I am not a licensed physician or mental health professional. No medical prescribing is provided on this site, Only personal insights, experience stories, and advice; All stories published have had prior authorization. Questions? Contact Jean at: firstname.lastname@example.org
EMPOWERING MINDS SINCE 2019